It seems like most of Colorado’s high school yearbook portrait submission deadlines are at the end of September going into October which consequently makes it a really, really busy time for photographers in our state. Not only is it the time that parents everywhere are busy booking those last minute high school portrait sessions, but Fall weddings and family photos are also very popular this time of year. My family realizes when September hits they are pretty much not going to see me much again until almost Thanksgiving! But we love what we do so we make the sacrifice!
Ella is one of those seniors who wanted a more urban experience for her photo-shoot. So we met downtown Denver and did my favorite back alley photo-shoot. The buildings in LoDo have great architectural features, fun graffiti and other urban landmarks like sculptures, cool bridges and more. The city photo-shoot is not for everyone, but for those that this appeal to we have a great time exploring and finding just the right spots for memorable photos! A beautiful girl also equals gorgeous photos! I’m so happy I was able to document your final year in high school.
Back to photographing one of my favorite family’s newest addition, their fourth son, Shane. Who knew that a decade ago I’d still be photographing the Hickman children for their one year milestones! I run a special package that captures the first year of baby’s life starting with newborn photos in the first month after baby’s arrival. We then meet up again every three months finishing with the one year birthday celebration and cake smash for baby. Darcy and Ryan have been through these sessions with each of their children! And now with us being on our fourth child not only are the other kids old pros at having their photograph taken, but we’re now struggling just a little bit to come up with locations for outdoor photo-shoots! I still find love capturing this family and can’t believe we’ve been taking photos for as long as we have! Enjoy some baby squishes! It goes by in a blink of an eye!
Nothing is more precious than newborn babies! And I especially love getting to photography past wedding clients when they venture into parenthood. Jerod & Erin were married just last year so they wasted no time in starting their family. This adorable little peanut was a little over the newborn stage at about two months when we photographed her making it a little more difficult to get those adorable sleeping baby photos, but we tried our best! She’s a cutie pie even when she’s wide awake and I love, love, love the matching mommy and me outfits!
In case you didn’t know we have moved into a full on studio space in Arvada this Summer. After 20 years of hauling my backdrops, lights, props and more to people’s homes it was time to finally settle down at a location that would make it easier for me to photograph my clients. This allows me to set-up before the subjects arrive, have access to all of my backdrops and props at a moments notice and just make the whole experience easier for everyone. We are sharing a space with another vendor: Amazing Weddings & Ceremonies, who provide wedding ceremony and officiating services as well as their own ministry. So far it has been a great working partnership! I will still be doing a lot of location photo-shoots, but this also gives me the opportunity to have an indoor back-up plan, offer more affordable studio sessions for things like headshots, newborns and more!
Thanks again to Erin, Jerod and Miss Willow for being my first clients in the studio and looking forward to many more years to come photographing your growing family!
Here’s some of my favorite photos from this adorable couple’s maternity session in Eldorado Springs, Colorado. It’s a beautiful spot for taking photos of this gorgeous expecting mother and dad to be! We had to work quickly for this shoot as dark clouds were looming, but I was able to do the entire session in 45 minutes with some amazing shots which is a record for me with a full maternity session. I’m so happy with how these photos turned out and am excited to hear about the arrival of their newborn!
People are always asking me what to wear to their photo-shoot, especially if their photo session is going to be more of a specialty shoot like a Maternity Session. I’ve been getting a lot of calls again this Spring for Pregnancy Photos and because of that I thought it would be good to put together a helpful guide to styling your maternity session.
1.) Consider what type of backdrop or theme you would like for your session. Do you want something outdoorsy with a real natural feel or perhaps you’re a city girl at heart that wants to show off the vibrancy of the city you live in? Depending on what type of backgrounds you want in your photos this can help you with choosing your wardrobe selection. An urban shoot maybe would look better with jeans and a t-shirt while a mountain backdrop may call for more of a long flowing dress.
2.) Determine if you want an indoor or an outdoor session. We live in Colorado, a state with so many beautiful locations to take photos at it’s kind of hard to not want to take your photos outside, however I will always recommend an indoor portrait session in the following situations: 1.) If you want any nudity or lingerie shots of any kind because it’s easier and probably more lawful to take these photos in a controlled environment. 2.) If the time of year the weather conditions could make your photo-shoot be a little more challenging, than maybe scheduling something indoors will be a safer bet as well. You can also do more of a lifestyle type shoot and take the photos in the comfort of your own home and/or nursery for an amazing memory of all the hard work you put into designing the baby’s new digs.
3.) Determine who will be in your photos… Will it just be the mother to be or do you want your partner to be in some of the photos with you. If you have other children it’s really cute to incorporate them in the photos. Photos with the kids hugging your belly are always fun! And if you are going to incorporate the rest of the family you might want to have the family in complimentary colors. Everyone in matching outfits is pretty much a thing of the past. When I think of matching Christmas sweaters or everyone wearing a denim shirt in family photos my mind immediately goes to thoughts of the 1980s. Try not to make everyone look exactly the same, but more in outfits that look good together.
4.) If you are doing outside photos consider what the weather will be like during your session. The seasons will give you a pretty good idea on what colors will be available to purcahse and what looks great. Spring and Summer tend to have brighter and lighter feels than Fall and Winter which are more of a Warm and Cozy feel. In the Winter I often see woman in high boots, sweaters, scarves and warmer colors. In the Summer I see sun dresses and light and airy outfits.
5.) Keep from picking out something that’s too trendy. My goal is to always to make your photos look timeless. Twenty years from now I don’t want you to look back at your photos and think what in the heck was I wearing. Solid colors work great. Try to stay away from too much pattern as I always think that distracts form the baby bump. Tight fitting items that accentuate the pregnant belly work the best and minimal jewelry and accessories is also a better idea to keep the focus on your belly.
6.) Plan a couple different outfits so you can get a couple different looks. If you are planning on more than one outfit let your photographer know so that they can schedule in clothing change time and also pick a location near a restroom if you are doing an outdoor site unless you are comfortable with a vehicle change. Lay everything out and see how your pieces work together and bring a few props that remind you of baby if you have any. Great ideas are his/her first teddy bear, first set of shoes, a book you plan on reading to him, etc.
Here is a list of outfits that work great for maternity photo-shoots:
- Maxi Dresses
- Dresses that Tie at The Waist or Have a Slit
- Sheer/Lacy pieces
- Long flowy skirt with a crop top or bandeau bra
- Oversized knit sweaters
- Jeans and a fitting top
Other prop ideas that are fun:
- Sonogram Photo
- Messages to the Baby (Posters, Signs, Chalkboards, etc)
- Giftwrap Ribbon with a “Do Not Open Until *insert baby’s due date)
- Add Humor with Preparing for Parenthood Books or a play on words to make an announcement like in October welcoming our Little Pumpkin and some images taken with a pumpkin.
- Use holiday elements if you’re due around a holiday like Christmas, Easter or 4th of July
- If you’ve chosen a Name for baby you can incorporate blocks, letters, etc spelling it out
Always feel free to discuss ideas with us or the photographer you are working with as they are going to be the creative ones full of ideas, locations to suggest and more. If you are looking to do something completely original that signifies your personality that’s even better! Think about a hobby you are into or things that you and your partner like to do together and try to figure out how to bring them into your photos.
Hailey & Andrew are another one of our Willow Ridge Manor couples who will be tying the knot this Fall. To announce their engagement we did their rustic engagement portrait session in Golden, Colorado. Hailey was hoping for some snow, so I was happy that the foothills had a slight dusting of snow behind them! It ended up being a wonderfully warm day to celebrate their love and we got some awesome shots! Looking forward to their September wedding!
Here’s a couple after my own heart! They both share a passion for riding motorcycles and wanted to incorporate that into their engagement photos! Yes, please sign me up to photograph this! Probably a lot of people don’t know, but my husband and I also found this pastime as an excellent way to connect, once upon a time! While I never got up to owning my own separate motorcycle I relished the days that I could climb on the back of our own bike and head for the mountains with nothing more than the road and the wind and a few stops in between for great BBQ and beers! Unfortunately, with our businesses needing more and more of our time and then adding on children we found that our motorcycle was just collecting dust in the garage and decided to sell it. But I fully intend on someday (when the kids are more independent) purchasing a bike again and getting out there.
Alyssa and Zakery have an amazing hobby that they both enjoy doing together and Colorado offers such amazing scenery it’s just awesome to show their passion for it in photos! Not to mention I got to be a little more creative with my ring shots! Beautiful couple with awesome bikes equals a fun, fantastic Fall portrait session. Looking forward to your 2020 Fall wedding as well!
Here’s an in home newborn session I did before Thanksgiving…. this sweet little guy took a while to fall asleep for us… Sometimes come with the territory…. We tried just about everything, extra feedings, white noise, swaddling and even a car ride! Yes, dad took him for a ride around the block! Which was a first for me, typically all of my little tricks work to make baby sleepy, but this time around he was making us work for it. But I think it was worth it in the end what an adorable little guy! Congrats again to the Radcliffe family on your new addition!
Here’s another awesome Fall engagement session for a couple that we will be photographing their wedding next year! We went with a little rustic elegance at one of the best parks for engagement photos in Golden, Colorado. Katie & Ben have romance down! These two had a great time expressing their love and I’m so looking forward to their Spring wedding!
‘Tis the season for engagements! If you got engaged over the holidays and are looking at where to start with the wedding planning process one of the funnest things to do is a photography session! It commemorates the moment and gives you some amazing photos to share with the world your love of each other. It’s also a great way to try out a photographer that you are considering for your wedding coverage. Give us a call, we still have some p[rime dates in 2020 available.
With all of the relatives in town for the holidays you may be thinking that you’d like to take a group photo of everyone in the family! So if you can’t hire a professional either due to cost or availability the next best thing is doing it yourself! Here are some quick tips to help make your photo the best that it can be! And with a bunch of you getting the new iphone for Christmas you might want to even try this with your phones!
1.) Prepare! – Scout out the best location to do the photo ahead of time. Make sure your batteries are charged and your lenses are cleaned (including your phone lens)! It would be a real bummer if you couldn’t take the photo due to an empty battery or worse yet a big piece of dirt shows up in the middle of grandma’s face! Make sure everyone you want to be in the photo knows where and when you are taking it (I always ask them to be there 15-20 minutes earlier than needed to make room for late comers).
2.) Location – Make sure you choose the right spot for your photo. If you have to take the photo in the middle of the day scout out spots with open shade so that there are no harsh shadows and so people don’t have to squint in the photos. Make sure there are no distractions in the background such as signs, cars, etc. Or a window behind the group indoors where a flash can bounce back into the camera. If you are indoors I would avoid using a flash on your cell phone camera for the photo if at all possible. The low light capabilities are getting better on phones, but the flash settings are not.
3.) Take Multiple Shots! – One way to try and avoid getting eyes closed or people not looking at the camera is to take a lot of photos. The more you take the more chances you have for a good one. And trust me if you are also going to set the timer so that you can be in it you will more than likely have to take a few to get a good one! A wireless handheld remote for also really helps for this! Do not use the digital zoom feature on a cell phone because the photo will be too grainy, rather than using the zoom position yourself in a way that puts the entire group in the frame.
4.) Use a tripod – Set your camera up on your tripod so that’s ready to take the shot in terms of framing, settings and focus and then it will be ready at an instant when you get the group looking just right to capture the moment. It’s important to get the attention of your subjects early so that you can get them posed and take the photo quickly especially if you are working with short attention spans, especially those of children. Tripods also help prevent camera shake and keep the focus sharp!
5.) Posing – You want to make sure that you can see everyone. Taller people should be in the back and shorter in the middle or front. I like to put people in between the “V” of the people in front of them and ask everyone to make sure that they can see me because if they can’t see me I can’t see them. Try to compose in a triangle composition with the tallest members in the middle. When photographing a large family try to keep immediate families near each other, spouses and kids, etc. People also look better slightly angled (not straight on) so I typically have the people turn slightly into the person next to them and have them either put their hands in their pocket or on their hip for women. Before releasing the shutter take one last look over through the camera to make sure you can see everyone. And if the group is really large you might want to consider taking the photo from a higher perspective either from a balcony or ladder.
Best wishes and happy portrait taking!